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The Knockout (1914)

TV-G | | Short, Comedy | 11 June 1914 (USA)
To show his girl how brave he is Fatty challenges the champion to a fight. Charlie referees, trying to avoid contact with the two monsters.

Director:

Mack Sennett (uncredited)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Dan Albert Dan Albert ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle ... Pug (uncredited)
Charles Avery ... Cop (uncredited)
Joe Bordeaux Joe Bordeaux ... Policeman (uncredited)
Glen Cavender ... Society Singer (uncredited)
Charles Chaplin ... Referee (uncredited)
Charley Chase ... Spectator (uncredited)
Edward F. Cline Edward F. Cline ... Cop (uncredited)
Frank Dolan ... Spectator / Party Guest (uncredited)
Minta Durfee Minta Durfee ... Pug's Sweetheart (uncredited)
Edwin Frazee Edwin Frazee ... Spectator / Society Singer / Cop (uncredited)
Billy Gilbert Billy Gilbert ... Society Singer (uncredited)
Alice Howell ... Spectator / Party Guest (uncredited)
Edgar Kennedy ... Cyclone Flynn (uncredited)
Charles Lakin Charles Lakin ... One of St. John's Gang (uncredited)
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Storyline

A couple of tramps, down on their luck and hungry, decide to fake an exhibition boxing match for a promoter. Meanwhile, Pug, a good-hearted but boisterous fellow, takes on a gang of mashers who make unwanted advances to his girlfriend. Impressed by his abilities, the mashers decide to pass Pug off as Cyclone Flynn, the champion, and enter him in the boxing match. But the real Cyclone shows up, and he and Pug battle it out in the ring. Soon the fight progresses to include pistols, rooftop chases, and the Keystone Kops in hot pursuit. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 June 1914 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Counted Out See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Keystone Film Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

During the tug-o'-war between Pug and the Keystone Cops, Pug's boxing gloves disappear and then re-appear on his hands. See more »

Quotes

Tramp in Derby: Let's pose as pugilists to make some coin.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema Paradiso (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Good old-fashioned mayhem
2 March 2002 | by wmorrow59See all my reviews

The folks at Keystone might just as well have called this film "The Knockabout" for that's what they offer us: two reels of rowdy, fast-paced, and curiously amiable violence. Bricks are thrown, faces are punched, guns are fired, and cops are dragged across asphalt at high speed, but when the final scene arrives everyone looks okay, just a little winded. Viewers might feel a little winded, too, for despite its advanced age this movie amounts to something of a cinematic assault. MTV didn't invent rapid cutting, nor did Jackie Chan invent choreographic fighting; you'll find both in The Knockout, admittedly in rough and unsophisticated form, courtesy of Roscoe Arbuckle -- who, according to some sources, directed this film in addition to playing the lead.

The plot gets under way as we find two tattered hobos, looking for food. One of the tramps decides to impersonate the boxer Cyclone Flynn, who is scheduled to fight a bout that afternoon. Since the promoter hasn't met Flynn, he believes the tramp's false claim and gives him an advance on the proceeds. Meanwhile, Roscoe (called "Pug" here) defends his girlfriend from the unwanted attentions of a masher so successfully that he's persuaded to turn pro and take on Cyclone Flynn himself. After various complications Pug faces the real Flynn in the ring. The bout turns into a wild brawl and the police are summoned as Pug, now armed with two pistols, attempts to kill Flynn. Flynn ultimately escapes with his life across the rooftops and through an elegant party. Cops pursue Pug to a pier, and assorted personnel sail through the air into the ocean.

Decades after this film was made Roscoe Arbuckle retains his boyish charm as a screen comic. He gets quite a workout in this short. Gags as such are few, but there's a nice moment when Roscoe prepares to remove his trousers, becomes aware of the "viewers," and directs the camera's gaze upward, only undressing when he is safely out of camera range! (He would repeat this gag in his comedy Coney Island, three years later.) Minta Durfee, who was married to Arbuckle when this film was made, is a pleasant leading lady and looks fetching in the male drag she wears in the latter portion of the film, but, in my opinion, lacks the warmth Mabel Normand brought to similar roles. The rest of the supporting cast represents something of a Keystone Who's Who of 1914: Hank Mann as the tramp, Edgar Kennedy -- with hair -- as Cyclone Flynn, Al St. John as the masher, and Mack Swain (so memorable as the delusional prospector in Chaplin's The Gold Rush) as the gambler, mugging furiously as he watches the big fight. If you look quickly you can spot producer Mack Sennett in a brief bit, in the street in front of the arena. And of course, you can't miss Charlie Chaplin as the referee.

As Chaplin's popularity eclipsed Arbuckle's this film was re-released and advertised as a Chaplin vehicle, which is misleading, for Charlie is present for only a few minutes during the chaotic boxing match. Still, the sequence is the comic high point, as Arbuckle, Chaplin, Mack Swain, and Edgar Kennedy, all on screen simultaneously in a medium long shot, compete for the viewer's attention. But it's no contest: Chaplin's frantic attempts to avoid the boxers' punches draws our attention and steals the scene. Just to make sure our attention doesn't wander, Charlie vigorously mimes wooziness, falls, drags himself across the ring by the ropes, and pauses to count the stars he sees, whirling around his head. Arbuckle has to fire pistols to recapture the focus. If we view this sequence as a Battle of the Keystone Comics, it's plain that, a mere six months after his screen debut, and still only 25 years-old, Chaplin was now the undisputed Champion of screen comedians.


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